Brake Caliper Repair Kit Buyer’s Guide
- A brake caliper repair kit can help bring your brake caliper back to good working condition.
- A brake caliper repair kit is composed of several brake caliper components like seals, gaskets, and pistons.
- Some of the signs that you need to replace or repair your brake caliper include the vehicle pulling to one side, clunking sound or squealing noise from the wheel area, uneven brake pad wear, and brake fluid leak.
- Repairing a faulty brake caliper can be done with ease as long as you have the right brake caliper repair kit and the basic tools.
- The price of a brake caliper repair kit on CarParts.com is usually less than $200.
The brake system—which is the most important safety feature in your vehicle—is traditionally composed of the rotor, the brake caliper, and the brake pads or shoes. Each one of these components needs to be in good condition all the time. Otherwise, you might not feel confident that your vehicle would stop once you hit the brake pedal. But since friction, extreme heat, and even harsh road elements can speed up the deterioration of your brake system components, repairs or replacements may be necessary over time. Fortunately, for the brake caliper, you can restore it to tip-top shape with the help of a brake caliper repair kit.
What is a brake caliper repair kit?
A brake caliper repair kit is what you need to rebuild your damaged brake caliper. It comes with various components required to restore your faulty brake caliper, allowing your vehicle’s brake system to operate smoothly.
What is a brake caliper repair kit composed of?
Similar to your car’s brake system, the brake caliper is composed of many parts. Parts such as pistons, boots, bleed rings and screws, lock pins, and even seals or gaskets are necessary for the brake caliper to work. For you to successfully rebuild your failing brake caliper, your brake caliper repair kit needs to be composed of the following components:
Gaskets and seals
Leaks are common brake caliper problems. Since the brake caliper is constantly exposed to heat and friction, its gaskets and seals are bound to crack or break. This allows the fluid to seep out, which can lead to several brake caliper problems. A brake caliper repair kit can be composed of several o-rings and seals, which can directly replace your old ones. Each seal is made from high-quality rubber that is designed to withstand the high heat and pressure that comes with the job. Once installed, these rubber components can ensure that there will be no more leakage in your brake caliper.
Some brake caliper repair kits may not have pistons. But if you want to have superior braking power from your vehicle, you need to look for a kit that comes with pistons. Brake caliper pistons are the parts responsible for moving the brake pads to the brake rotors, which allow your vehicle to stop when you put your foot on the brake pedal. They are more than essential if you want a reliable brake system.
What are the signs that you need brake caliper replacement or repair?
The last thing that you would want to worry about when you are driving on the road is your brakes. That’s why you need to perform regular car servicing and maintenance to avoid any potential problems. But of course, parts like the brake caliper can wear out prematurely. Here are some of the signs that it needs to be repaired or replaced:
Car pulling to one side when braking
The pistons in your brake caliper should be able to engage and disengage seamlessly whenever you press or release the brakes. However, because of corrosion, they can lock up delaying the release of the brake pads. This causes the vehicle to pull to one side when you are braking.
Squealing noises coming from the wheel area
A sticking or failing brake caliper can also produce squealing noises that you can hear from the wheel area. However, this can be confused with the strange noise that comes from a worn-out brake pad. To be sure of the faulty part, it is recommended to have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic.
Uneven brake pad wear
If you notice that one side of your brake pad is already worn out while the other seems fine, this may be caused by a faulty brake caliper. A replacement or repair is needed to fix this problem.
Brake fluid leak
The brake caliper uses hydraulic pressure to function. If you notice signs that the hydraulic oil or brake fluid is leaking, it means that its seal or gasket is failing. To resolve this, you can get a brake caliper rebuild kit to swap out the faulty component.
There are also cases where the caliper bracket, which secures the brake caliper in place, breaks and causes a loud clunking sound. It can also lead to the wheel locking up. This is dangerous, so you need to fix it before driving your vehicle again.
Can you do the brake caliper repair on your own?
If you want to avoid additional expenses from getting the services of a professional mechanic, you can rebuild or repair your failing brake caliper on your own, provided you have enough experience and knowledge of DIY auto repair. All you need is a brake caliper repair kit, which has all the necessary components, and a set of basic tools. The job itself won’t take too long. However, you will need to remove and reinstall several brake system components to be able to repair the brake caliper. You can even repair the stripped threads on your brake caliper pin bolt with the help of a brake caliper thread repair kit.
How much does a brake caliper repair kit cost?
The cost of a brake caliper repair kit is usually less than $200. Brands like Centric, Dorman, Motorcraft, AC Delco, Crown, and GenuineXL even offer these kits for $50 and below. But if you are not looking for a kit, OE replacement brake caliper components can be bought per piece or in sets of two.
Finding the right brake caliper repair kit for your vehicle
Purchasing the wrong kit for your vehicle is not only annoying; it also delays the repair that your ride desperately needs. To prevent this unfortunate scenario from happening, make sure that you use our website’s vehicle selector. Just by selecting your vehicle’s year, make, and model, you are guaranteed to get only the compatible kits in the search results. What’s even better is that you can filter them by price range, brand, and quantity sold. All of these features are designed to ensure that you will have a hassle-free shopping experience.
Choosing the Right Brake Caliper Repair Kit
The best kind of brake calipers will quickly and effectively stop your car once you step on the brake pedal. Calipers slow down your car's wheels and eventually bring the entire vehicle to a halt, so they play a crucial role to your road safety. To achieve optimum braking performance, you need to invest in the right brake caliper repair kit. We've come up with a few tips to help you choose the best kit for your vehicle.
What to look for in a brake caliper kit?
The first step in rebuilding your calipers is to replace the old gaskets and seals. Broken gaskets and busted seals lead to leaky calipers, so you need to choose a kit with a complete set of heavy-duty O-rings and seals to thoroughly cover the internal fluid passages and prevent leakage. Make sure to find the correct size and thickness to ensure the seals are strong enough to hold the high-pressure brake fluid in. Look for seals made of high-strength rubber for maximum durability.
- O-rings and seals
The quantity of the pistons will determine the performance of your brake calipers. Generally, more pistons mean better braking power, as they are used to clamp the rotors and cause the tires to slow down. We recommend having more than two pistons in your brake assembly. However, pistons are not included in some brake caliper repair kits. If you're planning to rebuild your calipers, we recommend choosing a kit with a high-quality piston included in the package.
How much does a brake caliper repair kit cost?
You can purchase a brake caliper repair kit for as low as $20. Beck Arnley, AC Delco, and Motorcraft are just some of the brands which offer this kit at a cheaper price. Brake caliper repair kits without pistons cost much lower, while prices for complete kits can go up to $250. We recommend doing the installation yourself, as the kit already has everything you need to get the job done. All you need is a few simple tools to bring your caliper back into proper working condition.
How to Rebuild Brake Calipers Using a Brake Caliper Repair Kit
Rebuilding your damaged brake calipers is a breeze with the help of a brake caliper repair kit. With just a few simple tools, you can get the job done right away and spare yourself from costly mechanic charges. Caliper repair kits include O-rings and rubber seals which you can install to replace the leaking gaskets in the assembly.
Here are the tools you need and the steps to follow in repairing damaged brake calipers:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools that you'll need:
- Brake caliper repair kit
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket set and ratchet
- Brake fluid
- Brake cleaner
Step 1: Do a quarter turn to loosen the lug nuts on each wheel. Next, use a floor jack to raise your vehicle properly. Make sure to raise the front end first before the rear. Place jack stands under the vehicle and lower it safely. Check if the stands are supporting the vehicle's weight.
Step 2: Remove the lug nuts and the wheels. Next, take off the caliper bolts and detach the brake line. Remove the caliper and its O-ring. Clean the caliper's internal surface with a brake cleaner. Next, take off the dust seals from the pistons and then detach the pistons from the caliper.
Step 3: Fit in a new seal into the groove inside the caliper. Make sure the new seal and the caliper pistons are properly lubricated with clean brake fluid first before installing them. Slip the pistons back into the brake caliper and install the new dust seals. You can do this by pulling the dust seals over the piston's lip. Clamp the seals in place with the round metal ring included in the brake caliper repair kit.
Step 4: Reinstall the caliper into the rotor and tighten the bolts using a socket. If you're having a hard time fitting the caliper, compress the pistons to gain enough clearance. Reattach the brake line and bleed the brakes. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's specifications for proper bleeding procedure.
Step 5: Reattach your car's wheels and lower it back to the ground. Tighten all lug nuts and do a test drive to ensure your braking system's back on track.
You may need to bleed the brake line again if the pedal has a soft, squishy feel. Test your brakes by compressing the brake pedal. A soft pedal is a sign of seal leakage.